Britain scraps 'European Union' from its passports, despite Brexit delay

Britain scraps 'European Union' from its passports, despite Brexit delay

Both passports are valid, the ministry said in a statement, adding that citizens can not choose whether they would like the words included or not.

The introduction of these new passports has angered those applying for new ones who were hoping to hold on to an emblem of European Union membership. I assumed we would get the same old passport.

According to the British interior ministry, individual passports could still bear the words "European Union" on the front cover, as old stocks are being used up.

The passports started appearing from March 30, which would have been the day after the United Kingdom left the European Union had Brexit gone ahead as originally planned.

Susan Hindle Barone tweeted an image of her new passport, issued on Friday, alongside her expired one.

Britain was set to leave the European Union on March 29 but has been forced to delay its exit amid political paralysis in Westminster over the terms of the divorce deal.

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What British passports will look like post-Brexit has been a sticking point and a rallying call for some, after a decision by the United Kingdom government in 2017 to change passports from burgundy to dark blue.

British Prime Minister Theresa May formally asked the European Union on Friday to delay Britain's departure from the bloc until June 30, hoping to avoid a potentially damaging "no-deal" crash-out in mid-April.

At this stage the other 27 European Union members, which must give unanimous backing, appear unlikely to grant the extension. You will not be able to choose whether you get a passport that includes the words European Union, or a passport that does not. Both passports are "equally valid for travel", the ministry added.

British passports had already become ensnared in the country's Brexit divisions after the government announced in 2017 it would return to traditional blue passports "to restore national identity".

The Home Office issued a statement saying that the removal of the words "European Union" was part of a redesign process that will see the old dark blue British passports being reissued from late 2019.

Later this year, the passports are set to be changed to blue, as they were before the switch to burgundy back in 1988.

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